Iran, Netherlands mull cooperation in water, energy industries

5 December 2019 18:14 (UTC+04:00)

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

The Netherlands is willing to establish cooperation with Iran’s Kish Free Zone Organization in water, renewable energies and agriculture spheres, Netherlands' Ambassador to Iran Jacques Werner said while meeting with Managing Director of Kish Free Zone Organization Gholam Hossein Mozaffari on December 4.

Werner emphasized that the Netherlands aims to start cooperation with Iran in water, agriculture and humanitarian measures and pave the way for other economic activities.

He referred to the decision made by Finland, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) as an important step for maintaining cooperation between Tehran and Amsterdam.

INSTEX is a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) established in January 2019 by France, Germany and the United Kingdom to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran. The SPV is headquartered in Paris, France, and is headed by German national Per Fischer, who formerly served as Head of Financial Institutions at Commerzbank.

Werner evaluated the capacities, capabilities, facilities and air transportation of Kish Island as suitable, saying besides water, energy and waste, the Netherlands is interested in reinforcing academic cooperation in academic, making food through greenhouse system.

The mentioned cooperation will be regarded as a new chapter in cooperation with Iran.

He noted that the current situation is a good opportunity for doing more researches on continuation of cooperation.

In turn, Mozaffari referred to 1,800,000 tourists visiting Kish Island every year, saying Kish is interested in having long-term cooperation with the Netherlands and in hosting Dutch tourists.

Pointing to Kish Island's visa-free system, he said grounds have been prepared for establishing educational cooperation with Dutch universities.

Mozaffari welcomed Werner's suggestion on maintaining ties with the Kish Island in water, renewable energies, and agriculture, saying Kish Free Zone Organization is willing to have cooperation in the mentioned fields.

He noted that the Netherlands' experiences and knowledge in greenhouse products, taking advantage of water and renewable energies will be advantageous for Kish Island.

Mozaffari further pointed to the Netherlands' decision to join INSTEX saying the two sides should be after finding ways to develop relations in all fields.

He also invited Dutch experts to invest and cooperate in the comprehensive project of planting in Hendurabi, an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf.

Earlier, the six mentioned European states had announced that "in light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran, we are now in the process of becoming shareholders of the INSTEX subject to completion of national procedures."

Iran traded 327,031 tons worth $130.33 million with the Netherlands during the first Iranian month (March 21, 2018-April 20, 2019), registering a 366.81 percent and 190.61 percent growth in tonnage and value compared with the year before.

The Netherlands was Iran's 9th biggest trading partner during the period.

Iran’s exports to the country stood at 999 tons worth $1.11 million to register a 60.28 percent and 73.49 percent decline in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.

Iran exported ferrochrome, saffron, machinery and vegetables during the one-month period, while mainly imported soybean, field corn, oilcake and medical tools from the Netherlands.

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Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94 

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